The Decline of Global Fertility and How IVF is Helping
Global fertility is found to be declining since the 1950s. Multiple reasons could affect infertility but in the year 1973, scientists attempted to fertilize a human egg outside the human’s body.
The first few attempts in that specific year may not have been successful. The first pregnancy only lasted for a few days and there were even reports of ectopic pregnancies. However, this was still the start of the now common procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Undergoing the IVF procedure is what couples or surrogates do when fertility is a problem. This procedure is becoming more and more common. In fact, as of 2018, there is an estimated 8 million number of babies that were born through this process ever since it started to become successful in the year 1978.
Understanding How IVF Works
The first part of going through the IVF is letting the female take fertility medications to make sure that strong and healthy eggs are produced. The quality of the female’s eggs will be checked through ultrasound and blood test.
Retrieving the eggs from the female isn’t done right away once the quality is no longer an issue. Timing is important when it comes to this. The eggs should only be retrieved before they arise from the ovaries. Harvesting the eggs too early or to late will just lessen the success of the procedure.
Once the eggs are ready, a minor surgery will be performed to retrieve them. It only takes a needle to have this done, but some women would need to be sedated if medications will not be enough to ease them from pain.
The eggs will be stored until the male has already produced sperms that will be used during the process called insemination.
The insemination process is when an egg and the sperm samples are placed on a dish. This is when they wait to see if fertilization will be successful. This part is where different IVF centres do something different and that will really depend on the chances of the candidates to get pregnant.
If the insemination process is a success and the eggs are already fertilized, this is when the embryos are formed. The embryos will be stored for at least two days before injecting them back to the female’s uterus to ensure growth.
What most are not aware of is that multiples pregnancy is quite a possibility with the IVF procedure. This is because experts recommend that multiple embryos should be transported to the uterus at a time to make sure that the pregnancy will continue.
You may think that pregnancy will then commence, but the female will have to wait for at least two more weeks to get tested and to know if she is pregnant. This is checked through a pregnancy test. If an embryo or embryos successfully latched on the uterus, then the test should show a positive result. However, a positive pregnancy test will also show up in an ectopic pregnancy. If this is the case, it is most likely that the pregnancy will be terminated.
Success Rate of the IVF Procedure
The first thing that you should keep in mind is the difference between the success rate of the IVF procedure alone and the success rate of live birth through this process. There still are cases wherein the pregnancy commenced but eventually resulted to miscarriage or stillbirth.
The percentage of becoming successful when it comes to undergoing the procedure IVF varies. The age is one of the heavy factors to affect this. Basically, if the female candidate is older, the chances of a successful IVF procedure is less. This is mostly the case for females above the age of 40.
Different fertility centres have their own ways to make their procedure successful. The Elawoman, an IVF centre in Delhi, promises 70% to 80% of IVF success rate for women under 35. This sounds like a strong claim but there’s really no reason to fight this claim as time has already improved how IVF is performed.
In some cases where the chance of successful fertilization through the IVF is not that big, some centres are skilled enough to do the process of insemination differently. The intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be necessary if the candidate has a low chance of having a successful result.
The ICSI is a procedure where an egg is injected with a single sperm. There are also cases wherein the egg is opened up a bit to raise the chance of having a fertilized egg or embryo. Either way, the ICSI is made possible under a microscope.
The success rate of the IVF procedure isn’t set on stone. There are factors to consider like the age, health history, and even where the procedure will be done. Different fertility centres have different claims so it’s important to learn the centre’s history first before making a choice.
It’s best to know how each centre does their work. The candidate should know what options she has if there will be excess embryos. Because of the freezing technology, extra embryos can be saved until the same candidate will want to go through the IVF process again.
Another possible option is to have the extra embryos donated. If neither is an option, destroying the embryos could be the only thing left to do. If the candidate is unable to produce healthy eggs, this is when she can opt to look for a donor. The same thing works for the male candidate if the sperm count hasn’t increased even after medication.
When donors are concerned when it comes to this process, seeking legal advice is always suggested to avoid or possibly contradict any complications that could arise in the future. Most of the time, donors have no clue as to who will get their specimens.
As of now, the IVF procedure may not be accessible to everybody because this can still be pricey, no matter which centre you choose. This is most likely why couples only resort to this solution if they have already tried almost everything to get pregnant.